How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

A scene from HOW MUCH DOES YOUR BUILDING WEIGH, MR. FOSTER?, a film directed by Norberto Lopez Amado and Carlos Carcas. A First Run Features release. All rights reserved.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Executive Producer:
  • Antonio Sanz
Photography Director:
Production Company:

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? (2010)

Opened: 01/25/2012 Limited

Fallbrook 708/06/2010 - 08/12/20107 days
Play Dates01/25/2012
IFC Center01/25/2012 - 02/02/20129 days
Music Hall 302/17/2012 - 02/23/20127 days
Playhouse 702/18/2012 - 02/20/20123 days
NoHo 702/18/2012 - 02/20/20123 days
Claremont 502/18/2012 - 02/20/20123 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


The film shows Norman Foster's journey from Manchester to a global practice, discussing architecture, why it matters, and how difficult it is to do it well. Norman Foster has rewritten the rules of architecture. His vision and unswerving passion for excellence have created some of the most exceptional structures of our times. Architecture comes alive. Foster's projects are photographed in a cinematic style that seeks to bring the spectacular nature of their size and scale to the big screen.

It speaks to the specialists and the priesthood of design, but it's not just for them. It speaks to everybody who has ever been excited by a work of art, or who has understood that some spaces have special qualities that others do not share. It's for everybody who has been excited by the daring of a bridge, jutting out into space, or by the spectacle of a skyscraper that can define the identity of a city. It portrays how the world of art has influenced Foster and how Foster has brought the world of art into his design. Art, for the sake of the pleasure it gives and how, when combined with architecture, it leads to something greater and more uplifting that the sum of the two. It celebrates the special qualities of some of the most extraordinary structures of our times, and explores what it was that made them possible. It documents the way that great architecture is created, but does not flinch from the disappointments, and the set backs, and even the failures that come with it.

It tells the story through images. Key projects are filmed in detail, conveying the movement of sunshine across the atrium of the Hearst Tower, the exhilaration of crossing the heights over the Pont Millau through early morning mist, whose central column is taller than the Eiffel Tower; or how the restoration of the German parliament becomes the symbol of a reunified nation. The experience of moving through each of these spaces shows what makes them special. We will also see how cities will be in the future through the example of Masdar in Abu Dhabi, a bold experiment in sustainability now under construction, which strives to become the first zero carbon, zero waste city in the world. At the same time, we hear the words of remarkable people who have collaborated with Foster such as Bono, Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Cai Guo-Qiang, Richard Long or Anthony Caro speaking for themselves, directly to the camera about the parts that they played.

About Norman Foster

Norman Foster was born in Manchester in 1935. After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning in 1961 he won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he gained a Master's in Architecture. He is the founder and chairman of Foster + Partners. Established in London in 1967, it is now a worldwide practice, with project offices in more than twenty countries. Since its inception, the practice has received over 500 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 86 international and national competitions. Current and recent work includes the largest single building on the planet, Beijing Airport, Millau Viaduct in France, the Swiss Re tower, the Great Court at the British Museum in London, the Hearst Headquarters tower in New York, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and research centers at Stanford University, California.

He received the Order of North Rhine Westphalia in 1995 and the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999. He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999 and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in 2002. In 2009, he became the 29th laureate of the prestigious Prince of Asturias award for the Arts and was awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 2010. In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours, and in 1999 was honoured with a Life Peerage, becoming Lord Foster of Thames Bank.

Filmmaker Bios

Norberto Lopez Amado (Director)

Tito Lopez Amado has been working for the past 20 years as a filmmaker on diverse projects in cinema, television, and advertising. Born in Orense, Spain and based in Madrid, he studied law and film direction. In 1989, he joined the Spanish EFE news agency as a correspondent, covering diverse stories around the world such as the first Gulf War. He moved into the field of cinema directing a number of documentaries and short feature-films. His first full-length feature film, Nos Miran, was a commercial success and was well received by critics worldwide. He is currently considered one of the leading directors of episodic television in Spain. Lopez's second feature film, Zig Zag is in pre-production.

Carlos Carcas (Director)

Carlos Carcas is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Madrid. Born in Miami, Florida in 1968, he began working in film production after graduating from Boston University's College of Communication. He worked for several years for the international press agency Worldwide Television News (WTN) as a freelance cameraman and news producer in Peru, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia and Spain. He has collaborated with Spanish director Fernando Trueba on several projects. Among them, Carcas shot and edited Blanco & Negro, which won the Latin Grammy in 2006 for the best long-format music video. Carcas also worked with Trueba on The Miracle of Candeal, winner of the Spanish's academy's Goya prize for best documentary. In 2008, Carcas released Old Man Bebo, his first feature length documentary, which he wrote, directed and edited. With this work, he was awarded the prize for best new documentary filmmaker at the Tribeca film Festival in 2008.

Elena Ochoa (Producer)

Elena Ochoa was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles and Visiting Research Scholar at the Universities of Cambridge, Chicago, Krakow, Hamburg and Pennsylvania, amongst others. She was Professor of Psychopathology at the Complutense University of Madrid for almost two decades. She has also worked in the Spanish National Television, Spanish National Radio and as well as newspapers such as El Pais. Until 2001, Elena Ochoa was Honorary Professor at King's College London. She founded Ivorypress in 1996 and acted as the co-Editor-in-Chief during the making of the ten volume C Photo Collection. Since the beginning, Ivorypress has been devoted to producing artist's books and other publications related to contemporary art, photography, design and architecture. In 2008 Ivorypress opened Ivorypress Art+Books Bookshop in Madrid as well as Ivorypress Space, commissioning exhibitions of artists such as Miroslav Tichy, Ai Weiwei, Michal Rovner, Claes Oldenburg and Buckminster Fuller, among others. Elena Ochoa was Chairman of the Tate International Council and trustee of the Tate Foundation for five years. Currently, she is a trustee of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and is also the main advisor and trustee of the Art Trust Foundation. Elena Ochoa is the founder and current CEO of Ivorypress and Art Commissioners.

Antonio Sanz (Executive producer)

Antonio Sanz has an academic background in Art History. He began his career as professional photographer then moved toward cinema where he has worked as director of photography, screenwriter and director. In 2005, Sanz joined Art Commissioners, a London-based company focused on the commissioning and promotion of artistic works. He has curated art exhibitions around the world such as at the 2006 Biennale di Venezia, or the London Victoria & Albert Museum in 2008. He is the managing director of Ivorypress/Art Commissioners.

Deyan Sudjic (Scriptwriter)

Deyan Sudjic is the director of the Design Museum in London. Born in London of Yugoslav parents, he studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh, but decided not to practice architecture. Instead he became a writer, and critic, and has established an international reputation as commentator and curator. He was the founding editor of Blueprint magazine, and for four years was the editor of Domus, the authoritative Milan based architecture and design revue. He has been architecture critic for three of Britain's leading newspapers; The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Observer. He is the author of a number of well-received books. The Washington Post nominated his Edifice Complex as book of the year, and it has been translated into six languages. His authorized biography of Norman Foster will be published in 2010. He spent four years in Glasgow, as director of the UK City of Architecture and Design project from 1996 to 2000, and was the director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002. He has commissioned exhibitions in Istanbul, London, Glasgow, and Copenhagen.

Joan Valent (Musical Composer)

Valent was born in Palma de Mallorca 1964. In 1988 Joan Valent moved to Los Angeles where he studied music at the University of California Los Angeles. In 1993 Michael Douglas asked him to create and present the piece "Escape From the Century" (screened on TVE). In 1996 Valent relocated to Madrid. While accepting commissions from orchestras around the world he also founded the Ars Ensemble, with whom he recorded the live album "Ars." After the release of "Ars" in 2000, Joan Valent started to perform his music live and was nominated for the Spanish Premios de Musica. American pop singer David Byrne included the string sextet Ars Ensemble during his tour of Spain and Portugal in 2001. In April 2002 his second album "Ensems" was released in Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands. Valent & Ars Ensemble took part in the XXVII edition of the prestigious Sfinks festival in Belgium. Since 2002 until the present, he has released several collections of symphonic, choral, and instrumental music, including 4 CDs with Montserrat Caballe (two of them Grammy-winners,) a DVD release ("Four seasons in Mallorca,") and many other recordings productions and arrangements for different pop, classical and flamenco artists. Valent is currently working on an opera, a new piano concerto, a new CD, and several movies scores scheduled to premiere this year.